Category Archives: Timelife

Writing and acting updates!!

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I’m sorry I’ve been so forgetful updating this blog.  Here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

 

  • I’ve gotten two chapters of my story “Maggie and the Goblin” finished.  I’ve decided to work on this story and publish it all at once versus the Jukepop serial format.  I’m not sure I’m ready to work on a deadline like this.
  •  I shot a commercial for The Guardian US. This commercial will most likely be used for internal sales purposes but there is a very good chance it will wind up online.  I’ll update again once I can get my hands on the footage.
  •  I shot another commercial today for the Braingility memory system in Yardley, Pennsylvania.  It was a long day, but everyone on the crew was incredibly hospitable and supportive. And they let me take home snacks from Kraft Services.  AND I found two dollars on the ground at the Yardley train station!  All in all it was a good day 🙂
  •  I’ve just been cast in the webseries “Quarter Century,” about black 20-somethings trying to figure themselves out in New York.  I’m so excited about this project but unfortunately I won’t know my role until Saturday’s table reading.  Again, I’ll update once I get more info (I promise!)  In the meantime, please donate to help out the second season cast and crew.*

On tomorrow’s schedule is a callback for the new play “Detroit Blues” which, hopefully, will not clash with my rehearsal schedule for “QC.”  Wish me luck** everyone!  I’ll talk to you all later…

 

 
*This will also help me out financially.  So you’re not only supporting the arts and people of color in general, you’re supporting lil’ old me.
**by luck I mean “break a leg,” of course.

The Voice From The Whirlwind: Some thoughts on Faith, Tragedy, and Politics

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Seriously?

I’ve been reading a lot of Facebook posts and articles calling for change in the wake of the Sandy Hook murders.  Many of them revolve around the need for changes in mental healthcare and gun laws (both ends of the spectrum, from banning guns to supplying all teachers with conceal-and-carry permits).  Some of them are about our culture of violence, some of them revolve around the race, class, and sex of spree killers, some of them are about putting up protections everywhere. I hope these conversations continue and lead to lasting reform.  But there’s one conversation I really wish would stop: blaming disasters or tragedies on the quality of peoples’ faith in God.

These talks pop up every single time something horrible happens- no matter if the cause is natural or man made.  And they’ve been happening in some form for thousands of years, from the earthquake/tsunami in Japan to the Salem Witch Trials to the Crusades and on backward.  Misfortune is the fault of witches, or secularism, or Jews, or gays, or whatever scapegoat the religious majority is afraid of.  I’m no theologian or archaeologist, but I think it’s safe to say this goes back to the birth of the concept of religion.  I guess this means my post won’t make many waves, but I might as well throw in my two cents.  This post is going to (obviously) focus on religion and my own journey, so no judgement if you don’t want to continue.  This post is also more raw and of-the-moment.  I want to speak before I chicken out, so my prose isn’t going to be as eloquent as I’d like. Oh yeah, and I refer to God as “He” for purposes of this discussion, but my personal belief is that God is beyond concepts like gender.  But that discussion is for another day. Anyway, enough excuses and explanations.  Here goes:

Around my senior year of High School my English class read The Book of Job, and it really disturbed me.  The Job story confused me as a younger kid, but it wasn’t until I was made to sit and reflect on it for hours per day that this story wheedled its way into my subconscious.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Job is an Old Testament story about a prosperous and pious man named Job who is seemingly punished by God.  He loses his possessions and children in a deadly accident, and he and his wife are struck with illness and sores.   After debating with his wife and his friends about who is really at fault for this tragedy Job  breaks down and yells his anger to God.  God quickly responds through the voice of a whirlwind, chastising Job for questioning him, then gives Job more children and more wealth.  As a kid with a strong sense of fairness and justice, this didn’t jibe with me.  The God I believed in was kind and merciful; sure he was angry and would smite people, but those people had done something wrong and God either needed to wipe the slate clean and start over (like the tower of Babel, or Sodom and Gomorrah  or the people in Noah’s time period) or he provided harsh lessons to teach them (like Jonah).  But to destroy someone’s life for no reason, to yell at someone who had the nerve to break down and ask why he suffered?  And to then give him another wealth store and different children, and treat it as if this makes up for all his previous pain?  That wasn’t the God I thought I knew.  That wasn’t a God I wanted to be around.

This was around the start of a rough period in my life- multiple close family members became very ill; some of them died. The day before my aunt died I remember praying to God, asking if her sickness was punishment for people taking her for granted. “Okay, God.” I said. “I think we understand now. You can fix her.” But God doesn’t work like that. I saw my parents suffering and prayed: “OK, God. I’ll be a better kid for them. Will that win your favor and stop their pain?” But God doesn’t work that way. My depression and anxiety, at that time undiagnosed, became harder and harder to manage.  I was growing up and learning more and more about how hard life was for many people, how hard life would be for me as a woman of color with little money or clout.  During this period I prayed, I sang to God, I begged Him to smite me and spare the ones I loved, I got angry and shouted at Him,  I thought about leaving school, leaving Catholicism, thought about killing myself.  I couldn’t understand why God would hurt such good people; why he would cause such pain and suffering to fall upon others while I remained physically whole but emotionally scarred. We patched up our relationship after I was diagnosed with bipolar II, but I was still wary.  After I moved to New York my faith was shaken again (I’d rather not talk about that part), and while I love God and talk to him regularly, some part of me still hasn’t made peace with my religion and my politics.  But during all that time, during the times when I sobbed in my friends’ arms and yelled at how angry I was at God, do you think He ever left my side for a minute?  The God who makes the rain, the grass, the animals and the elements?  He who makes every atom and quark; He who makes all genders and sexualities and hearts and minds? He, my heavenly Father?  No- my God never left me, just as my mother and father would never leave me, even if (and when) I’m angry at them or forget to call.  Even when I make them angry, they are still my parents and they still love me no matter what happens to me.

There are some places where I might not want to pray aloud- that’s fine, I know how to pray silently or in a quiet moment I take for myself.  Does the Christian God require over-loud worship as long as whatever worship we provide is sincere?  Does He abandon our children because of the perceived or actual sins of society?  Does he always allow or cause disaster to punish us? People all over the world pray in mosques synagogues and temples and churches – some
devote their entire lives to helping the poor or sick, or to serving a higher power. And yet some of them-yes, pious traditional Christians too- are cut down before their prime in horrific ways in their very houses of peace and worship.  I mean, Job was pretty perfect and look what happened to him.

Here is God’s response to Job, taken from the KJV.  It’s beautiful, and powerful, and very very long, and the first time I read it I thought  God was avoiding Job’s questions, basically pulling a “Because I’m your dad and I can do all this stuff you can’t imagine, and also because I said so!”  Which, I admit, he kind of is.  After I moved to New York, though, my reading of the text changed.  It happened after I went to my friend’s performance of Song of Job 9:11, a musical convocation by Danny Ashkenasi.  It combines true stories and voices from the World Trade Center bombings with the biblical story of Job, and it’s all on youtube if you want to listen (my friend Holland Hamilton and her mom Anita Hollander are the gorgeous ladies immediately right of center).  Before that concert I didn’t fully grasp both the immense trauma of 9/11 victims, nor did I grasp the story of Job in anything but a negative light.  But listening to the musical arrangement of God’s words to Job I was filled with emotion, and I understood:  God was providing comfort to Job, and to all who suffer.  God names all of the creatures and things he takes care of, asks Job who is he to question God, his power, or plan.  God reminds Job “yo, I’m God.  I got all this- you think I ain’t got you too?  You don’t comprehend it, but I got everything, babe.”

Sometimes we don’t know why bad things happen.  Sometimes we will never know.  We can ask ourselves what God asked Job: who are we to question God?  Job’s friends and wife are quick to point fingers at either Job’s misdeeds or to God, but God will have none of it.  In times of misfortune and strife, the people who are saying that God has deserted us or punished us are acting the same way.  Who are we to say these things?  Were we around to know the big plan?  Can we understand every action and reason there are obstacles and potholes in our path?

There is a way to make change, however.  God provides it to us, just as he provided it to Job:

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:   

Job 42:11-12  (forgive me if my biblical citation skills suck)

In times like I ask everyone to gather around the sufferers, just as Job’s family gathered around him.   We should comfort them, help them, and thus we shall increase their fortunes.  Nothing we can do can bring back the dead- not placing blame, not social change, not religious squabbling.  The best we can do is to help our fellow humans, in this way we can bless the latter end of our time on earth more than our beginning.  The debates on gun control and mental healthcare and society and public saftey are some of the many ways we can do that.  Blaming abortion, prayer in schools, or LGBTQ people for indirectly causing God to turn his back on the slaughter of 20 kids and 7 adults?  Not a good way to do that.  Not to mention a bit victim-blamey.

There, that’s my two cents.  You can put yours in the comments below, but please note that while I encourage discussion I’ll delete any hate-speech, or comments putting down others’ religions or lack thereof.

Return of the Blog

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So I haven’t written in a while, which is my bad.  But in my defense times have been tough and I haven’t held up very well.  Lots of false starts and disappointments but such is life, right?

If there’s one thing life has taught me is that i’m about as flexible as a thick rubber band- i’m strong, pliable, and I snap right back from anything- but even rubber bands wear out if there’s too much stress.  I’m afraid if you see the inside of me i’ll break.  I’m afraid, dear readers, that you won’t like what you see.  This is why I’ve stayed away from writing for so long- but no longer.  I’m going to blog more, I promise you that.

Mieko Gavia is back!

To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

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Oh, four tuna!

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, Cyberfriends. I’ve been trying to figure out what to write for a while, but all of my posts seemed…lacking. This winter was hectic and depressing overall, and I’m not fond of writing depressing things anymore so I refrained rather than get too personal. Perhaps I’ll post about what happened someday, but at the moment I don’t have enough perspective. However, this week the wheel of fortune has turned again so I have some beautiful news that I just can’t wait to share with y’all.

1.) I (finally) have a full-time job: I’m working through a temp agency, which is good because I like the freedom it affords my writing and acting career. Got a gig? Going through a dry spell? Well don’t worry cuz’ temping is here for you! It also gives me a chance to shop around at various companies that might decide to keep me. Tomorrow I start my first day of work at Jstor, the online library for scholarly articles. I’ll be working in their acquisitions department for a month, but that’s all I know for now. This is a nerd’s DREAM, I tell you! Intimate contact with a library of interesting subjects; the chance to get to know people in the biz of literature–and (possibly?hopefully? Please?) access to the library for free. When I told most of my friends this, their first question was if I get free articles out of it. Hahah, I’m friends with a whole bunch of nerds :p

2.) My creative life has picked up: After a disheartening dry spell I managed to score 3 projects that have the potential to make it big. The first was this youtube teaser commercial for a forthcoming book.

The second is that i’ve just been cast in a play- I can’t say much at the moment since i’m still waiting on more info before I accept the part, but I will say that it’s woman centered, premiering in several cities at once (I’ll be part of the NY cast), there will be a webseries to go along with it, and I’ll have the possibility to get (additional?) payment for writing a monologue to be performed in the show!

The third, and most exciting, is that I’m going to be paid to be an art model for this guy!  I’ve checked him out and  am impressed by his work and resume, so I’m super pumped to work with him.  I’m going to be art, y’all!!

Hooopefully not like this.  I don’t want to be Dorian Gavia…

3.) My (oh!) my (oh!) my (oh) my (ohh!) my Boo:  I have a boyfriend now, and he is awesome.  I don’t know how much he’d be comfortable with me sharing, so I will stop there.    But just had to let you know that when two nerdy PoCs find each other, it’s a thing of brilliance.  He is, without a doubt, super ginchy!

On a side note, I apologize for the lack of story updates lately.   My illustrator is abroad at the moment, so getting pictures to fit each segment is a little difficult.  But I’ve been writing it, so expect lots of new updates as soon as is possible.

It seems my wheel of fortune is a bit lopsided- it is weighted on both the amazing side and the awful side, so when it turns it oscillates rapidly from one to another.  This is just my turn to prosper.  Let’s hope I make the most of it!

I’m off to bed now- don’t want to be late for the first day of work!

She-Hulkin’ out

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Mie-hulk SMASH!!!!

After a demoralizing 2 month battle, I was turned down for food stamps because of an error on their part.  I am hungry and tired and I don’t know whether to she-hulk or belly-up.

This loooong saga began with an online application—one that was not advertised on their website, making it very hard to find.

After the app, I was sent a letter in the mail 2 days later telling me my phone interview time.  I waited by the phone at the specific time, but they didn’t call back until 3 1/2 hours later- when I was in the middle of work.  I called back during my break- however, because I did not answer the phone when they decided to call me my application was thrown out.

I applied again.  The letter came the day before my scheduled interview this time.  They called 2 hours later- this time I answered, made them call me back at an appropriate time for me, and completed the interview.  The man on the phone said I had 10 days to turn in the required documentation, and referred me to the checklist that had come with my letter.

After gathering all my documents I picked a free day and headed to the office, expecting to be out within 2 hours.  2 1/2 hours later I reach the front of the line and am told that I went to the wrong office–I have to head to a specific office to process my paperwork.  This office’s number is printed in tiny letters at the top of my checklist, with no mention that I was to answer to that place specifically.  According to google maps, there is no food stamp office at that address.

Oh- and all offices close in 20 minutes.

I run approximately 1.6 miles up a hill in sandals to get to the office.  I make it just in time, and the lady at the front desk takes pity on me.  However, I still have to run up and down the stairs collecting paperwork they forgot to give me in order to do procedures no one told me I had to do.  When I finally make it to a caseworker to turn in my papers, he asks me if I have 4 paystubs; yet seeing as the checklist I was provided only asked for the most recent stub and I had only been employed for 3 weeks at that time, I didn’t have it.  He told me to come back when I had four.

2 weeks later I come back, stand in line to turn in my paystubs.  I try to call ahead, the answering machines are full.  this is at least the 6th time I have tried to call only to end up with the same message.  The seventh time I call, a woman answers and snaps at me for asking if I am still eligible to turn in my paperwork.  She treats me as if I’m a stupid, annoying child and hangs up on me.

I take a number, wait in line for about 4 hours while my caseworker wanders around the building and laughs about how he’s going to leave early.  He calls 8 numbers the entire time.  Finally, a group of his fed-up coworkers mobilize to help the stranded.  They breeze us through in 15 minutes.  My paperwork is processed.  All I have to do is wait -in 30 days or less I will have my decision.

My envelope came in the mail today.  The message said that I was rejected because I “did not keep my promise” to attend an interview.  Which I did.  Over the phone.  Weeks ago.

I have three options: 1) admit defeat.  Make due with what I have.   2)Re-apply.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.  3)Appeal–and prepare for another battle

But to be honest with you all, I’m tired.

I went through a similar, more frightening experience with healthcare and trying to get my doctor’s appointments and medicine.  And I’m tired of being treated like my body, my time, my safety is worth less because of the amount of money I have in my bank account.

I swear, living this life is turning me socialist.

And now we have pictures!

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From: Maggie and the Goblin, chapter 1

My imooto (lil’ sis) will be illustrating Maggie and the Goblin from now on.

New chapters will arrive weekly, as will the pictures.

Thank you all!  I’ll let you know about the audition tomorrow 🙂

-Mieko

p.s. She’s started a travel blog and deviantart page as well, please check them out!  (I’ve added the links to the blogroll)

 

 

SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

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How’s this for an update:

I have an audition. For a pilot. With NBC.

Ask not for whom the peacock calls

I don’t even know what to do with myself.

Now, I know there’s a very slim chance that I’ll get even a callback, and I’ll be the first to admit i’m not quite the TV standard of beauty. My acting history is almost exclusively theater, and switching from theater to TV is not easy-not everyone can do it and it takes practice so you don’t look histrionic.

But this is still a chance, and you never know what could happen.

My audition is on Saturday, so there’s not much time.  I just hope my face is un-puffed and my brain un-clogged by then (I’m home from work today due to a nasty sinus infection).

I’ll blog more later about the concerns switching from stage to screen (body image being chief among them–yes, the camera does add pounds), but i’ll end this for now.